State Court Officials Issue Warning About Jury-Duty Scam

June 15, 2010

Director of Court Information, Mary Ann Lynch, warned the public today about a phone-call scheme involving scam artists who say they work for the courts and seek personal information that may allow identity theft. In this scam, someone calls pretending to be a court official and says an arrest warrant has been issued because the recipient of the telephone call did not show up for jury duty. The caller claims to work for the courts. The caller asks for the Social Security number and date of birth so he or she can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. Sometimes they even ask for credit card numbers. The scam has been reported in a number of states. This scam is particularly insidious because they use intimidation over the phone to try to bully people into giving information by pretending they are with the court system. The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their web sites, warning consumers about the fraud.

Ms. Lynch said that no one from the Maine Judicial Branch would ever call and ask for this type of personal information over the telephone. Anyone receiving such a call should contact his or her local police department.

The following web sites have more information:

www.fbi.gov/page2/june06/jury_scams060206.htm

www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/juryduty.asp